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Johnstown combines debts, gets better rate

September 7, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The city received such a favorable interest rate when it recently consolidated some debts that it might allow its departments to request small capital equipment purchases now rather than waiting for the 2013 city budget.

City Treasurer Michael Gifford told the Common Council at its meeting Tuesday his office recently "bundled" several smaller borrowing packages into one large $5.9 million Bond Anticipation Note that recently was closed upon.

He said the city was able to receive a very favorable 0.61 percent interest rate on the large BAN.

"That's good news," Gifford said. "It is a reflection of what people are telling me about the market."

The city recently borrowed $790,000 for upcoming capital projects. That list included: bucket loader - $120,000; skid steer loader - $55,000; animal control officer vehicle - $25,000; replacement of the city fire roof - $150,000; utility bucket truck - $165,000; fire department command vehicle - $30,000; self-contained breathing apparatus equipment - $120,000; and a plow truck with sander - $125,000.

The list was pared down from numerous recommendations made by several department heads.

Gifford told the council he was able to incorporate the $790,000 into the larger $5.9 million BAN.

"What we had on the books was these one-year notes," he said. "We bundled them all together."

Also bundled were bond notes for $2.4 million for the North Perry Street bridge replacement project; $1.1 million for a new water tank at the Maylender Reservoir; and $1.65 million to pay down on improvements to the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Gifford noted that in previous discussions when the $790,000 in capital requests was being finalized, there were other requests that didn't make the cut. He said those included some city police and fire equipment and turnout gear, unmarked police vehicles and vehicles shared among city departments.

He "strongly recommended" department heads resubmit those requests now instead of seeking them in a future budget, such as the city's 2013 budget, because the borrowing rates are favorable now.

"It's a lot more manageable to do it this year than to put it into next year's budget," Gifford said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached by email at



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